The Memphis Grizzlies saw their season come to a tough conclusion in the FedEx Forum as the Golden State Warriors defeated the Bears of Beale Street 108-95. It wasn't for a lack of effort; the Grizzlies fought and gave their all throughout the game. Sometimes, though, you run into a team that just is better. That was the situation of Memphis on this night, and in this series.
Three takeaways from tonight's season-ending loss for the Grizzlies.
1. Starting Slow Against Golden State Kills- The Warriors were winning the game 9-1 within two minutes of the contest getting under way and had a 15 point lead in the first quarter. Considering Golden State is 53-0 now this season when leading by 15 points at any time, this is a less than ideal situation. Tony Allen attempted to play but was clearly not himself, his injured hamstring hampering him and contributing to the Grizzlies' early issues. The Warriors led at the end of the first 32-19, and all felt lost.
2. Memphis Refuses to Die- However, the Grizzlies responded and won the 2nd and 3rd quarters by 5 points, 49-44. Defensive effort was tremendous, Marc Gasol in the third quarter was attacking on both ends of the court and Memphis got the game within one point on a made Jeff Green jumper with 3:19 left in the third. Even with the last 1:19 of the quarter ending so poorly (Andre Iguodala made three while being fouled and then this insanity...)
...and that momentum carrying over to the fourth quarter and the absurd shooting skill of Stephen Curry (32 points on 11-25 shooting, 8-13 from three point land) Memphis never quit. They fought, through the broken face of Mike Conley and the greatness of the Warriors (15 made threes, 46.9% shooting from beyond the arc), they fought. They reminded us why we love this team so much, win or lose. All Heart.
3. This (Post)Season was a Success- Yes, there were bigger expectations when Memphis was 15-2, or 21-4, or 37-12. The season, and its context, changed though. Injuries to Mike Conley, Courtney Lee and Tony Allen directly impacted the course of this season in particular, and while the playoff run ends short of the "Greater" goals many had a playoff series win and two wins over this dominant Golden State team considering the circumstances is not too shabby at all.
There will be plenty of time to dissect the season/postseason, who underachieved/who rose to the occasion and look ahead to the off-season and the future of this team/roster in the coming days. Grizzly Bear Blues will continue to be your source for everything Memphis Grizzlies through those times. For now, let us appreciate another special season and postseason in this era of "Grit and Grind" and the efforts of these players, coaches and organization all season long. Plenty of good and memories to be taken from "Team 14", the 2014-2015 Memphis Grizzlies.
On this night, and throughout this series, the Memphis Grizzlies saw the NBA's present and future definition of greatness. How Memphis gets to that level is the next step in the evolution of this franchise.